Restoring the country’s coral reefs through Filipinnovation

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As a response to the coral degradation in the country, the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) and the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development of the DOST (DOST-PCAARRD) funded the Filipinnovation on Coral Reef Restoration Program that started in 2012.

Having started in 2012, the program seeks to roll out coral transplantation technology using asexually reproduced corals to improve productivity of coral resources for sustainable fisheries.
Corals asexual reproduction technology for reef restoration involves the collection of dislodged live coral fragments or “corals of opportunity” (COPs) and attaching them to coral nursery unit (CNUs) for quick recovery and regeneration to increase survival rates upon transplantation in degraded coral reef sites. Each CNU is designed to hold 500 COPs per batch and can be used several times a year.

The CNU design and the coral transplantation technique which uses marine epoxy clay, nails, and cable tie are outputs of the DOST-PCAARRD funded Filipinnovation program.
Bohol, Pangasinan, Sarangani, Bataan, Zambales, Palawan, Camiguin, Zamboanga del Norte, and Ilocos Norte were identified as restoration sites based on their suitability for restoration; availability of sufficient amount of coral fragments for transplanting, and their location within the marine protected area.
The program has established a total of 538 CNUs and transplanted 487,158 coral fragments. These activities contribute directly to the protection of coastal communities by providing natural barriers, improvement of our marine ecosystem services, development of fishery resources, and enhancement of the underwater tourism industry.
When the Filipinnovation program was completed in 2013, the National Coral Reef Rehabilitation Roll-Out Program continued the work using the same asexual reproduction technology that is now ongoing in nine sites across the country: Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte; Alaminos, Pangasinan; Bagac, Bataan; Subic Bay, Zambales; Puerto Princesa, Palawan; Anda, Bohol; Camiguin, Zamboanga City; and Kiamba, Sarangani. Overall, the two programs are now in 20 locations across 11 regions (1, 2, 3, 4A, 4B, 5, 6, 7, 9, 10, and ARMM).
The direct coral transplantation technique was developed and implemented by the University of the Philippines – Marine Science Institute (UP-MSI) with the local communities to restore an area in Bolinao, Pangasinan. The technique has been pilot-tested in major tourism and diving sites including Batangas, Bohol, and Boracay.